Sunday, February 29, 2004

Bloc National

Right-wing coalition elected to the French Chamber of Deputies (lower house of the legislature) on a wave of nationalist sentiment at the end of World War I; it controlled the French government until 1924. The Bloc gained about three-fourths of the seats in the elections of November 1919, one of the largest conservative majorities in the history of the Third Republic (1870–1940). The Chamber

Saturday, February 28, 2004


Specifically, an adult human male and, generally, any extinct or living member, male or female, of the biological family Hominidae. See hominid; human being.

Thursday, February 26, 2004


Any substance, such as creosote or alcohol, applied to inanimate objects to kill microorganisms. Disinfectants and antiseptics are alike in that both are germicidal, but antiseptics are applied primarily to living tissue. The ideal disinfectant would rapidly destroy bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoans, would not corrode surgical instruments, and would not

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Ararat, Mount

Turkish  Agri Dagi,   extinct volcanic massif in extreme eastern Turkey overlooking the point at which the frontiers of Turkey, Iran, and Armenia converge. Its northern and eastern slopes rise from the broad alluvial plain of the Aras River, about 3,300 ft (1,000 m) above sea level; its southwestern slopes rise from a plain about 5,000 ft above sea level; and on the west a low pass separates it from a long range

Monday, February 23, 2004


Town and seat of Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok megye (county), east-central Hungary, at the confluence of the Zagyva and Tisza rivers. Under the Árpád kings (c. 890–1301) Szolnok was a market town and distributing centre for rock salt from the Maramures Mountains (now in Romania). Later in the European Middle Ages it was a strategic settlement fiercely contested by Magyars and Turks. In modern

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Christie, Julie

Christie was born on her father's Indian tea plantation but was educated in England and France. She studied acting at London's Central School for

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Rawls, Betsy

Rawls began playing golf at 17, capping her amateur career by placing second in the 1950 U.S. Women's Open behind the all-time great Babe Zaharias. Turning professional in 1951, Rawls won that year's Open, repeating her victory in 1953, 1957, and 1960. Other major professional achievements

Monday, February 16, 2004

Switzerland, Barbarian invasions

The first of the barbaric incursions took place in AD 259. By AD 400 Roman Switzerland had disintegrated and the lands of the Romanized Celts were occupied by Germanic tribes such as the Burgundians and Alemannians. The Burgundians, few in number, occupied the lands of western Switzerland. Although they retained political control, they lost contact with their former homelands

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Jovius, Paulus

In about 1513 Jovius settled in Rome; he won the favour of Leo X (who compared him to Livy) and of Cardinal Giulio de' Medici, later Clement VII, whom he helped during the sack of Rome in 1527. In 1528 Jovius became bishop of Nocera. He

Friday, February 13, 2004

Performing Arts, Classical Music

By 1999 the history of the 20th century could be seen in full perspective, and one conclusion evident to music lovers was that it had been the most operatic century since the Renaissance and the origins of opera. Newspapers and television (the nonfiction programs as well as the ones with invented plots and characters) were filled with “operatic” material—if Samuel Johnson's